Tiny cracks in your poker game can lead to massive losses. Knowing poker strategy is not enough, you have to learn certain fundamental rules, and a lot of those rules involve not doing certain things. This article discusses those aspects of poker which absolutely must be avoided.
Playing with a weak Ace
The most basic mistake made by a beginner in Poker is to enter hands with a weak ace. The problems posed by this situation are plenty. For starters, you are bound to get outkicked if you hit your ace pair, or even two-pair. For example -
Your cards: A ♠️ 3 ♣️
There is 200 rupees in the pot. Your opponent raises 140 rupees, preflop. Everybody folds, you flat call.
Flop - A ♣️ 7 ♠️ 8 ♠️
Your opponent C-bets. Now you’re stumped, probably wishing you never entered the hand in the first place. Any ace, except Ace Deuce is beating you at the moment. You decide to call.
Turn - K ♣️
This card reduces the number of Ace X hands beating you, since A2, A4, A5 and A6, leads to a split pot. He bets again, you call again.
River - J ♣️
He fires a final barrel, and now you’re pot-committed. So you call. He flips his hand and shows
A ❤ Q ❤
Well, you just got outkicked! His hand turns out to be - A ❤ A ♣️ K ♣️ Q ❤ J ♣️
Whereas your hand is a meek - A ❤ A ♣️ K ♣️ J ♣️ 7 ♠️
What did you learn? Do not play with a weak ace. You’ll get sucked into the hand, you won’t be able to get out, and you’ll get outkicked to lose a significant amount of money.
Playing too many hands.
This is the most common mistake made by beginners. I myself fell victim to the temptation of getting involved in every hand, but here’s the thing - you will end up losing. Everything. The reason is simple. In one word, it’s called - bleeding. Bleeding is defined as the slow but certain reduction of one’s chip stack, usually due to the calling of too many hands and the inevitable folding of it.
Let’s assume that you’re playing on a 10/20 table (2000 rupees buy-in) where you’re getting a run of average hands. To simplify, let’s assume that you didn’t get a single hand like the ones colored in yellow. But you’re sitting on an aggressive table where some player or the other will bet pre-flop. You, for some reason unknown to everybody, decide to call every bet pre-flop just to take a look at the flop.
Lo and behold! You chip stack has gone down from 2500 rupees to 1300 rupees in one hour. What did you expect? If you get into flops with weak hands, that too out of position, you’re bound to throw them in the muck unless you get very lucky and hit trips or two-pair.
So what did you learn? Please do not hope to get lucky on the flop. The minute you do that, you are gambling, you are not playing poker. Unless it’s a limp pot or a very small raise, please do not call big raises with hands like Q 6 suited or K 8 off-suit. Even if you get lucky on the flop, you can get sucked out on fourth street or fifth street due your opponent’s strong hand having many outs.
Keep an eye out for more content on beginner tips on how to play poker!